Plants may face harm as temperatures drop

SOUTH KINGSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — The recent drop in temperatures have the potential to harm plants if they remain unprotected from cooler weather.

Professor of plants sciences at the University of Rhode Island Brian Maynard says he begins protecting his plants by the time temperatures reach 32 degrees.

“Ice literally forms in the tissues and that’s when you see the plants wilt and turn to mush,” Maynard said.

Most plants can be hurt from a hard freeze in the 20s, but Maynard urges plant owners not to wait that long.

“You can use cloth sheets, garbage cans, anything,” Maynard said.

Common plants that should be protected include orchids, rubber plants and geraniums.

The first frost, on average, occurs in the Providence area during the last week of October.